Monday, April 13 2009

Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.13.09)


Bo Hirsch’s Papa Clem proved again that California-based 3-year-olds are at home anywhere in the country when he rallied from fifth and wore down Fox Hill Farm’s favored Old Fashioned to win Saturday’s 73rd running of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (Grade II) before a crowd of 55,193 at Oaklawn Park.

With the victory, Papa Clem punched his ticket to the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on May 2. Jockey Rafael Bejarano was aboard the winner for trainer Gary Stute, and Papa Clem covered 1 1/8-miles in 1:49 over a “fast” track. Summer Bird finished third and Rebel (GIII) winner Win Willy was fourth.

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Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (4.13.09)


Stewart Armstrong’s favored Dream Play cruised to an early lead over a sloppy track at Aqueduct was never seriously challenged as she romped to a 5 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s $147,000 Comely (Grade III).

The race marked Dream Play’s first try at a distance beyond six furlongs and her initial run over a wet racing surface, but the daughter of Hennessy passed both tests beautifully as she covered the mile distance in 1:39.51 under jockey Eddie Castro. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee won for the third time in five races and pushed her career earnings to $186,406.

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Saturday, April 11 2009

TelluRide, DJ Vice Headline Crown Royal ‘Festival in the Infield Club’ at Churchill Downs on April

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 10, 2009) – Churchill Downs has announced the featured entertainment for the Crown Royal “Festival in the Infield Club,” which will take place in the new Infield Club when it opens to race fans on Thursday, April 30. The event will be headlined by Nashville-based contemporary country music artists TelluRide and the popular DJ Vice. This year marks the 12th consecutive year Crown Royal® Canadian Whisky has sponsored music programming at Churchill Downs on Thursday of Derby Week.

Widely regarded as the next big breakout artist in the contemporary country music genre, TelluRide plays an average of 150 road dates a year and has performed at numerous Major League Baseball parks and at NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks.

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Friday, April 10 2009

Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.10.09)


Fox Hill Farm’s Old Fashioned, a near-consensus early favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) a month ago, is the morning line favorite to win a rematch with Win Willy, the horse that knocked him from the role of Derby favorite, when the two meet in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (GII) at Oaklawn Park.

The Larry Jones-trained Old Fashioned is the 9-5 morning line choice in a field of 10 horses entered in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep. The son of Unbridled’s Song will attempt to avenge the only loss of his career as he takes on Jer-Mar Stable’s Win Willy, the 56-1 upset winner over Old Fashioned in the Rebel Stakes (GIII) at Oaklawn on March 14. The Mac Robertson-trained son of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos is unbeaten in three races on dirt and is the 7-2 second choice in the Arkansas Derby.

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Kentucky Oaks 135 Udpate (4.10.09)


IEAH Stable’s Laragh, one of the outstanding 2-year-old fillies of 2008, will make her debut as a 3-year-old in Saturday’s 60th running of the $150,000 Comely (Grade II) at Aqueduct.

The daughter of Tapit finished a good third to champion Stardom Bound in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), and then completed out her 2-year-old season with a victory in the Hollywood Starlet (GI) over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park.

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Thursday, April 09 2009

Godolphin’s Desert Party, Regal Ransom Arrive for Derby 135

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 9, 2009) – The two horses that represent the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) hopes of Dubai-based Godolphin are settling into new surroundings at Churchill Downs after a late afternoon arrival on Thursday at the historic home of the “Run for the Roses.” Earlier in the day, likely Kentucky Oaks (GI) favorite Rachel Alexandra returned to her home track following an overnight van ride from Oaklawn Park, where she romped in the Fantasy Stakes (GII) on Sunday.

Desert Party, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas and last year’s Sanford (GII) at Saratoga, and Regal Ransom, who upset his stablemate in the $2 million UAE Derby (GII) on March 28 at Nad Al Sheba, arrived by van at the quarantine facility in Barn 45 at Churchill Downs shortly after 5 p.m. (EDT).

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Wednesday, April 08 2009

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Approves Churchill Requests for Night Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 7, 2009) – Churchill Downs has been granted permission by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) to conduct three historic sessions of night racing during its April 25-July 5 Spring Meet. The regulatory panel has also granted approval to the track’s request to offer two new wagers during the meet.

The approval for the first night racing sessions in the 135-year history of Churchill Downs was granted by the KHRC during its regular meeting in Lexington, Ky. on Tuesday, April 7. The regulatory panel also approved a new 50-cent Pick 4 wager that will be offered at the track each day – including Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days – along with a new multi-day $1 Pick 3 wager that links three Grade I races conducted on Derby Weekend: the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, the Kentucky Oaks and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

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Tuesday, April 07 2009

I Want Revenge Arrives at Churchill Downs For Kentucky Derby 135

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 7, 2009) – David Lanzman and IEAH Stable’s I Want Revenge, winner of the Wood Memorial (Grade I) and one of the early favorites for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), arrived at Churchill Downs early Tuesday, April 7 to continue his preparation for the May 2 “Run for the Roses.”

The Jeff Mullins-trained son of Stephen Got Even arrived at Churchill Downs around 5:45 a.m. following a van ride from New York. I Want Revenge is stabled in Barn 24.

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Monday, April 06 2009


“Show me the money” is pretty much the cry as a slew of Kentucky Derby hopefuls get set to make their final assaults on purse earnings Saturday when Keeneland presents its Grade I, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes and Oaklawn Park trots out its Grade II, $1-million Arkansas Derby.

The two make up two-thirds of the final push for money that can make or break the dreams of running in Churchill Downs’ $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2. As the prospective field of 20 3-year-olds is taking shape, it appears that it could take $200,000 in graded stakes earnings to put a horse in the gate on Derby Day.

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Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.6.09)


After a successful debut in New York in the Gotham Stakes (Grade III) that bordered on effortless, David Lanzman and IEAH Stables’ California invader I Want Revenge encountered nothing but trouble in last Saturday’s Wood Memorial (GI). But the result in each was the same: a victory that enhanced his status as one of the major contenders for the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on May 2.

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Kentucky Oaks 135 update (4.6.09)


L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra may have earned the role of favorite in the 135th Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 1 at Churchill Downjs when she romped to an effortless 8 ½-length romp in the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (GII) at Oaklawn Park.

The Hal Wiggins-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, the 1-9 favorite in a field of five 3-year-old fillies, never had an anxious moment as she galloped to victory under jockey Calvin Borel. She covered the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.36. It was the fourth consecutive victory for Rachel Alexandra, a streak that began with a victory in the Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs last fall.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 5, 2009) – A leg injury has knocked Sham Stakes (GIII) winner The Pamplemousse out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby and wagering on the colt in Pool 3 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager was suspended Sunday afternoon.

The Pamplemousse was scratched from the Santa Anita Derby shortly before Saturday’s race because of concern over the condition of a tendon, but his connections said the Kentucky Derby remained an option. But co-owner Alex Solis II announced on Sunday that The Pamplemousse was definitely out of the Kentucky Derby picture and would undergo tests to determine what treatment would be required for the injury.

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